John 1:16
From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.
Sermons
A Precious PlentitudeC. H. Spurgeon., J. Calvin.John 1:16
All Fulness in ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.John 1:16
Christ's FulnessC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
Christ's FulnessA. Beith, D. D.John 1:16
Christ's Fulness and Our Reception of ItR. Cudworth., Luther.John 1:16
Christ's Inexhaustible FulnessC. C. Tittman, D. D.John 1:16
Fulness of GraceC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
GraceCharles KingsleyJohn 1:16
Grace for GraceA. Raleigh, D. D.John 1:16
Grace for GraceC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
Grace ObstructedSamuel Martin.John 1:16
Grace Preferred to Earthly HonourJ. Cope.John 1:16
Grace to Receive GraceJohn 1:16
How Grace is ReceivedA. Maclaren, D. D.John 1:16
The Abundance of Grace the Saints Receive from ChristW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
The Answerableness of Grace in Every Christian to the Grace of ChristW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
The Communication of Christ's FulnessW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
The Fulness of ChristW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
The Fulness of ChristS. Martin.John 1:16
The Fulness of ChristJ. Bates.John 1:16
The Fulness of ChristJohn 1:16
The Fulness of Christ ReceivedC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
The Fulness of Christ the Treasury of the SaintsC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
The Plenteousness of GraceDr. C. Robinson.John 1:16
The Reception of Christ's FulnessW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
The Riches of Christ's GraceC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:16
The Spiced Wine of My PomegranateCharles Hadden Spurgeon John 1:16
Whatsoever Grace the Saints have They have it from Jesus ChristW. Bridge, M. A.John 1:16
Christ Pre-EminentBp. Ryle.John 1:15-18
Face to Face with Jesus ChristA. B. Grosart, D. D.John 1:15-18
John's Self-EffacementS. A. Bosanquet.John 1:15-18
Public Attention Drawn to ChristJ. Culross, D. D.John 1:15-18
The Effectiveness of the Baptist's MinistryF. Godet, D. D.John 1:15-18
The Pre-Eminence of ChristA. Beith, D. D.John 1:15-18
The parenthesis in this verse is remarkable as written in the first person. There must be a reason for the evangelist's departure from his ordinary practice of writing in the narrative style. It seems that John was so impressed by the solemnity and value of the witness he was bearing, that he was constrained to break his own rule, and. to speak explicitly of what he himself had actually seen, and of what he himself had come firmly to believe. Regarding this parenthesis only, we find here the record of personal observation, and, in closest connection therewith, the declaration of personal conviction.

I. THE STATEMENT OF THE WITNESS. "We beheld his glory."

1. John and his fellow apostles knew Christ in his humanity - in the "flesh" as the expression is in this passage.

2. They knew him as he "tabernacled" among them. John and Andrew, when the Baptist directed their attention to Jesus, inquired of him, "Where dwellest thou?" and at his invitation visited him and abode with him. The writer of this Gospel enjoyed peculiar opportunities of acquaintance, nay, of intimacy, with the Prophet of Nazareth, whose beloved disciple he became. If one human being ever knew another, John knew Jesus; he not only was constantly with him, his disposition and character rendered him specially fit for judging and appreciating him.

3. John and his colleagues bore witness that they recognized their Master's "glory." Why is such language used? Why his "glory"? He was a peasant woman's Son, and remained in the condition of life to which he was born. There was nothing in his garb, his appearance, his associations, the outward circumstances of his lot, which, in the view of men generally, could justify such an expression. These men must have had their own conception of "glory." As spiritual Hebrews, they had a noble idea of the majesty, the righteousness, the purity of God, and also of the moral splendour of the Divine Law. Thus it came to pass that, enlightened by the Spirit, they discerned glory where to the eyes of others there was only humiliation. They saw the moral glory of purity and benevolence in the Lord's Person and character, in the "grace" which he displayed in dealing with suppliants and penitents, in the "truth" which he uttered and embodied. They could not fail to remark the glory of his miracles, of his transfiguration, of his victory over death, of the manner in which he quitted the earth in which he had sojourned. All this, as intelligent and sympathetic witnesses, John and his companions beheld, and to this they testified.

II. THE INFERENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN. The glory was "of the Only Begotten of the Father." They knew well that the world to which Jesus came needed a Divine Saviour. Such a Saviour they were encouraged by the word of prophecy to expect. And their familiarity with the character and the mission of Jesus led them to hail the Son of man as Son of God. If Jesus were not the Only Begotten of the Father, how could they account for the facts of his ministry, for the authority he wielded, the claims he made? He had called himself the Son of God; he had lived like the Son of God; he had wrought the works of God. He had been addressed as the Son of the living God, and had accepted the appellation. Were the disciples to forget all this; to persuade themselves that they had been in a mist of bewilderment; to give up their deepest convictions, their purest and most ennobling beliefs? If not, then they must needs assert their belief that the glory they had seen was that of the Only Begotten of the Father. The same inference is binding upon us. To deny of Jesus what John here affirms of him is to leave the Church without a foundation, the heart without a refuge, the world without a hope. If Christ be not what John represents him as being, then the world can never know and rejoice in a full and personal revelation of the supreme mind and heart and will. It may be said that this is the misfortune of humanity, and that it must be accepted as inevitable. But the text points out to us a better way. The sincere and impressive language of John encourages us first to realize to ourselves the unique moral majesty of Jesus, and then to draw from this the inference which he and other witnesses of Jesus' character and life drew so firmly and conclusively - the inference, namely, that he was none other than the Son of God, deserving of human reverence and faith, love and devotion. The witness of Christ's companions we cannot reject. Their convictions concerning their Master and Friend we are abundantly justified in sharing. If we have a heart capable of appreciating the Saviour's moral glory, we shall not be without guidance in estimating the justice of his claim to superhuman dignity - to Divine authority. - T.







Of His fulness have all we received.
The word "fulness" is given to vessels that are brimful of liquor, and so is metaphorically applied to Christ, who is brimful of grace.

I. Take grace for LOVE, so there is a fulness of love in Christ.

1. Of pardoning love (Luke 23:24). When on earth He did not pardon once, but again and again, and that without upbraiding.

2. Of compassionating love (Matthew 5:3-4). When poor souls could not come to Him He went to them.

3. Of special love to His disciples (Matthew 12:47-50).

II. Take grace for HOLINESS, and there is a fulness of holiness in Him. Holy things, the law, priests, temple, were only types of Him. If there were not a fulness of holiness in Him —

1. How is it possible that God and man could be brought so near who were so far apart?

2. How should He be anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Ephesians 1:23). The saint's fulness is only particular, His is universal (Colossians 1:19). Their's ebbs and flows and is often empty.

III. Take grace for GIFTS, and there is a fulness of excellency in Christ.

1. Kingly (Hebrews 1:3, 8).

2. Prophetical (ver. 17).

3. Priestly (John 16:7, 10).

4. In general (Haggai 2:7; Colossians 1:11).

IV. WHAT IS OUR DUTY FLOWING FROM HENCE? If there be such a fulness then —

1. Let all men come to Him. All have wants.

2. Let us trust to Him.

3. Leg us draw forth from Him.

(1)By a serious, frequent consideration of His fulness (2 Corinthians 3:18).

(2)By resting upon it in time of temptation.

(3)By giving forth of it, as the conduit receives more water by letting out.

4. Let us labour to be like Him, full of grace.

5. Let us take heed how we do anything that may rob Christ of the glory of His fulness.

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

There is a dealing out of His fulness.

I. BY THE UNION THERE IS BETWEEN CHRIST AND A BELIEVER. Union is the cause of communion or communication. Bread is united to a man by his eating of it.

II. BY THE OVERFLOW OF HIS INFINITE GRACE HE IS ABLE —

1. To succour and supply those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

2. Whatever grace Christ hath received He hath received not for Himself but for others (Ephesians 4:8; John 17:19; Isaiah 61:1, 2).

3. There is an infinite willingness in Him to communicate this grace (Hebrews 3:2; Psalm 16:2; Job 4:24).

4. As He is willing nothing can hinder Him (Isaiah 43:13; Titus 2:14).

III. WHY THEN ARE BELIEVERS SO EMPTY OF GRACE?

1. The fulness of grace in a believer is many times hid from the world and from Himself.

2. Sometimes the avenues of grace in a believer are choked or broken.

3. This grace is communicated in proportion. What is your want? go to Christ and get that supplied.

IV. APPLICATION:

1. See the transcendent excellency of the saints.

2. What an encouragement there is here to come to Christ and partake of His fulness.

3. Acting upon this believers are firm against all temptations, discouragements, afflictions.

4. Then believers should labour to strengthen their assurance of union with Christ.

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

Whatever grace the saints have they have it all in the way of receiving.

1. The grace and mercy of justification and remission of sins (Romans 5:11).

2. Of adoption (Galatians 4:5).

3. Of sanctification (Galatians 3:2).

4. Of the gifts of the Spirit (Acts 10:46, 47).

5. In general all is by way of receiving (Colossians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 4:7). This will appear —

I. FROM MAN'S NATURAL INABILITY —

1. To overcome sin, be it never so small (1 Corinthians 15:57).

2. To rise again after falling. Peter must have a look from Christ before he could repent.

3. To stand and continue.

4. To prepare himself unto what is good (Ephesians 2:1, 5; John 6:44).

II. FROM THE SUPERNATURALITY OF GRACE. (Ephesians 2:10)

III. FROM THE SHORTNESS OF THE MEANS OF GRACE. The means as it is in itself, without God's appointment, is utterly inefficient.

IV. FROM THE WORK AND NATURE OF FAITH There is no grace that the Scripture puts more upon than faith — in the Old Testament all victories, in the New all cures. Yea, the same works thai are given to Christ are given to faith: sanctification, justification, salvation. Why? Because faith is a receiving grace (ver. 12). So believing is nothing but receiving the grace of God.

V. FROM THE POSTURE AND TRUE BEHAVIOUR OF PRAYER. Prayer is the soul's begging. A beggar holds forth his hand noting his willingness to receive (Job 11:13). In conclusion —

1. You say that this cuts off all endeavour. Not so (see Philippians 2:12).

2. Why is all this?

(1)That all boasting and self-confidence may be taken away (Romans 4:1 Corinthians 4:7).

(2)That Christ may be fully honoured.

(3)That the children of God may live by faith.

3. This doctrine is full of spiritual use.(1) Behold what infinite care God hath of believers. If a mother would not let her child eat bread but of her own cutting, or drink water but of her own drawing, what carefulness of her child that would argue.(2) What comfortable lives believers live — even their troubles are from God who makes them minister to their good and helps them in them.

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

I. AN ABUNDANCE OF GRACE. "Grace for grace " like "skin for skin" (Job 2:4). All his skins. This suits

(1)the word "and" or "even;"

(2)the attribute of Christ, "fulness;"

(3)the scope of the place where Christ is set above Moses.

(4)Other Scriptures (Romans 5:15, 17, etc.)

1. Abundance of grace discovered.(1) It will appear if you consider the several advances grace hath made from the beginning till now (Genesis 3:15), the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:3), the Mosaic, the prophecies, Christ, the preaching of the gospel.(2) The manifestations of grace under the Old Testament were under a veil; that veil is now removed (2 Corinthians 3:18).(3) There were many doctrines of grace communicated to the Jews, yet they were so tempered by the law that the very gospel seemed law unto them. Now the law is so tempered by the gospel as to seem gospel.(4) Grace was manifested under the old dispensation by drops and at intervals (Hebrews 1:1), under the New Wholesale.

2. Abundance of grace exhibited and communicated.Is it not a great matter —

1. For an ungodly man to be justified For a man to be a child of God.

2. To have the image of Christ drawn on a filthy soul.

3. For a man to be in heaven before he comes there (John 17:3).

4. But we do not see this abundance, objectors say. But —

(1)Though little in quantity it may be great in quality.

(2)Though it be small as a possession it is great as an earnest (Colossians 1:12).

II. APPLICATION:

1. Why should any of God's people vilify and degrade the gift of God whereby they are enriched?

2. Behold what great sinners inconsistent professors are!

3. What a mighty encouragement there is here to come to Jesus Christ and be filled!

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

Grace is sometimes taken for —

1. The favour of God;

2. God's assistance;

3. Holiness;

4. Gifts;

5. An office in the Church.But whichever it is it comes from Christ. This will appear if you consider —

I. THE INSUFFICIENCY OF NATURE (1 Corinthians 3:5; ver. 13).

II. THE ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST (Revelation 1:17; Romans 8:29; John 14:6).

1. There are three great doors which must ordinarily be opened before converting grace can get into the soul of man.

(1)A powerful ministry (1 Corinthians 16:9);

(2)The door of the heart (Acts 16:14);

(3)The door of the ear (Job 33:16).

2. Christ has the opening of these doors (Revelation 1:18; Revelation 3:7).

3. The names which Christ bears witness to, His all-sufficiency, Sun of Righteousness, Morning Star, Raiment, Bread of Life, Door, Good Shepherd, etc., are given to Christ to show that He is all they signify to the soul. And they are not barely given to Him; He is "Good" Shepherd, Bread "of Life," etc. Therefore, as the apostle says, "He is all in all."

(W. Bridge, M. A.).

We have received grace in abundance from Christ, but whatever grace there is in Him there is somewhat in the saints answerable thereunto, as the impression answers to the stamp.

1. Take grace as the favour of God: Both Christ and believers are God's beloved (Matthew 3:17; 2 Samuel 12:25).

2. For privilege: Both are called Sons of God (Hebrews 12:6); Heirs (Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17); Elect and precious (1 Peter 2:6; 1 Peter 1:2); Light (John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8).

3. For assistance (Psalm 22:1 Corinthians 12:9).

4. For sanctification (John 17:19). The reason of this —

I. THE UNION BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE (Job 14:20).

II. THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHRIST AS THE SECOND ADAM A COMMON PERSON BETWEEN GOD AND US (Romans 5:15; John 5:26).

III. THE LOVE BETWEEN CHRIST AND THE CHRISTIAN. Love loves to make a thing loved like itself.

IV. THE SAME SPIRIT IS IN A CHRISTIAN THAT IS IN CHRIST (chap. John 15:26).

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

This fulness is shown —

I. IN THE DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURE CONCERNING CHRIST.

1. His perfect humanity.

2. His supreme divinity.

II. IN THE POETRY AND METAPHORS WHICH DESCRIBE HIM. "Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, Lion of Judah," "Sure Foundation Stone," "Sun," "Desire of all Nations."

III. THE CHARACTERISTICS WHICH HIS FIRST FOLLOWERS MOST APPRECIATED WERE TRUTH AND GRACE, AND THESE WERE MANIFESTED IN FULNESS.

1. Truth represents —(1) Intelligence. In Christ there is a fountain of knowledge inexhaustible. The keen Sadducee, the exact Pharisee, the learned scribe, the eager Mary, all wonder at the gracious words which proceed out of His mouth. The words of Jesus are a study for one's life, and those who have studied them most are as far as ever from exhausting their meaning.(2) Reality. This was complete in Christ. He was the shadow of no substance, the image only of the invisible God.

2. The grace of Christ was love in fulness.

IV. THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL HIS DISCIPLES CONFIRMS THE OBSERVATION OF HIS FIRST FOLLOWERS. They could say, "We beheld"; we "Whom having not seen we love." What is this grace but grace superseding grace, grace supplanting grace — as the blossom supplants the bud, and as the fruit supplants the blossom — as the noon supersedes the morning, and as summer supplants spring — grace superseding and surpassing grace. What have you received? Is Christ to you a cistern which you have emptied? A vine stripped of fruit? Bread eaten and gone? Or is Jesus Christ living bread? A fountain of living water? A tree of life bearing all manner of fruit? In plain language, does grace supersede and supplant grace? Are you rising higher and yet higher through the uplifting of the hand of this Saviour? Is sanctification supplanting conversion, and is glorying in tribulation being built upon patience in sorrow? If so, beware of pride, and of vanity, and of vain-glorying, and of boasting. God forbid that we should glory save in the fulness of this Jesus Christ. At the same time quiet your fears and call forth your hopes. All that you have received is from fulness. Come again. Come every hour — for everything. Friends may depart, but friendship in fulness abides in Jesus. Helpers may become helpless, but might exists in fulness in Jesus. Riches may leave you, but in Christ there are riches unsearchable. Health may sink, but strength undecaying is in Jesus.

(S. Martin.)

I have heard our Lord likened to a man carrying a water-pot, and as he carried it upon his shoulder, the water fell dropping, dropping, dropping, so that every one could track the water-bearer. So should all His people be, carrying such a fulness of grace that every one should know where they have been by that which they have left behind. He who hath lain in the beds of spices will perfume the air through which he walks. One who, like Asher, has dipped his foot in oil, will leave his footprints behind him. When the living and incorruptible seed remains within, the Divine instincts of the new nature will guide you to the wisest methods of activity. You will do the right thing under the inward impulse rather than the written law, and your personal salvation will be your prime qualification for seeking out others of your Master's flock.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

God cannot give you anything more than He gave you 1,800 years ago. It was all in Christ. Take a very vulgar illustration, which is altogether inadequate for a great many purposes, but which may serve. Suppose some man tells you that there was a thousand pounds paid into your credit into a London bank, and that you were to get the use of it, as you drew cheques against it. The money is there, is not it; the gift is given, and yet for all that you may be half dead, a pauper. In the very last of the Arctic expeditions, last year or the year before, they found an ammunition chest that Commander Parry had left there fifty years ago, safe under a pile of stones, the provisions inside being perfectly sweet and good and eatable. There it had lain all those years, and men had died of starvation within arm's length of it. It was there all the same. And so, if I may venture to vulgarise the great theme that I am trying to speak about, God has given us His Son, and in Him all that pertains to life and all that pertains to godliness. My brothers, take the things that are freely given to men of God.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Here on the one hand is the boundless ocean of the Divine strength, unfathomable in its depth, full after all draughts, tideless and calm, in all its movements never troubled, in all its repose never stagnating; and on the other side is the empty avidity of our poor, weak natures. Faith opens these to the impulse of that great sea, and "according to our faith," in the exact measure of our receptivity, does it enter our hearts.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I have found it an interesting thing to stand on the edge of a noble rolling river, and to think, that although it has been flowing on for six thousand years, watering the fields, and slaking the thirst of a hundred generations, it shows no signs of waste or want; and when I have watched the rise of the sun, as he shot above the crest of the mountain, or in a sky draped with golden curtains sprang up from his ocean bed, I have wondered to think that he has melted the snows of so many winters, and renewed the verdure of so many springs, and painted the flowers of so many summers, and ripened the golden harvests of so many autumns, and yet shines as brilliant as ever, his eye not dim, nor his natural strength abated, nor his floods of light less full for centuries of boundless profusion. Yet what are these but images of the fulness that is in Christ?

(J. Bates.)

The Duchess of Gordon and a companion were visiting at a cottage in Scotland when a pedlar came in, threw down his pack, and asked for a drink of water. The woman of the house handed the water to him, and said, "Do you know anything of the water of life?" "By the grace of God I do." He drank the water, and then said, "Let us pray." And this was his prayer: "Oh, Lord, give us grace to feel our need of grace. Oh, Lord, give us grace to receive grace. Oh, Lord, give us grace to ask for grace. Oh, Lord, give us grace to use grace when grace is given." He then took up his pack and went away, having preached a powerful sermon in those few words.

On a tradesman's table I noticed a book labelled "Want Book." What a practical suggestion for a man of prayer! He should put down all his needs on the tablets of his heart, and then present his want book to his God. If we knew all our need, what a large want book we should require! How comforting to know that Jesus has a supply book, which exactly meets our want book! Promises, providences, and Divine visitations, combine to meet the necessities of all the faithful.

There is a story of Rowland Hill, which I have no doubt is true, because it is so characteristic of the man's eccentricity and generosity. Some one or other had given him a hundred pounds to send to an extremely poor minister, but, thinking it was too much to send him all at once, he sent him five pounds in a letter with simply these words inside the envelope, "More to follow." In a few days' time, the good man had another letter by the post, and letters by.the post were rarities in those days; when he opened it there was five pounds again, with just these words, "And more to follow." A day or two after there came another, and still the same words, "And more to follow." And so it continued twenty times, the good man being more and more astounded at these letters coming thus by post with always the sentence, "And more to follow." Now, every blessing that comes from God is sent in just such an envelope, with the selfsame message, "And more to follow." "I forgive you your sins, but there is more to follow. I justify you in the righteousness of Christ, but there's more to follow." "I adopt you into my family, but there's more to follow." "I educate you for heaven, but there's more to follow." "I have helped you even to old age, but there's still more to follow." "I will bring you to the brink of Jordan, and bid you sit down and sing on its black banks, on the banks of the black stream, but there's more to follow. In the midst of that river, as you are passing into the world of spirits, My mercy shall still continue with you, and when you land in the world to come there shall still be more to follow."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When our spiritual supplies fail, the channel is sometimes at fault, and not the stream; the hindrance to their coming lies with us and not with our heavenly Father. The supply of fuel to our city in midwinter sometimes fails, not because the coal-fields are exhausted, but because the weather has frozen our rivers, detained our colliers in the Channel, and blocked up our railways. The supply of water or of gas to our houses is sometimes insufficient, not because the reservoirs are low, but because the pipes which connect our dwellings with the main service are choked up or broken. News fail to reach us, not because our correspondent has neglected to write, but because the means of transmission have been imperfect.

(Samuel Martin.)

Having rendered some service to Lord North, the Prime Minister, during the American war, he received a polite communication from that nobleman, desiring to know if he stood in need of anything which it was in his power to bestow. Mr. Fletcher modestly replied: — " He was sensible of the Minister's kindness, but he only wanted one thing, which he could not grant him, and that was more grace." It is a high attainment to prefer the grace of God to earthly honours and emoluments. None but God, the author of grace, can incline the heart to this.

(J. Cope.)

I. THE FULNESS.

1. The fulness belongs to Christ personally. In His complex nature He possesses fulness.(1) In Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. The fulness of omnipotence, omnipresence, wisdom, justice, mercy. The attributes of God make up a perfect total. The unity, with all its uniqueness is His. The fractional parts are ours.(2) There was also a fulness of Christ in respect to His manhood. Nothing was lacking in Him to constitute human perfection — sinlessness, sympathy, the virtues of both sexes, human nature in its completeness.

2. In Christ is an acquired fulness. His perfect obedience secured an everlasting wellspring of merit; and now risen from the dead there is a fulness of prevalence in His intercession, of cleansing power, and of peace, when the Spirit applies the blood to the guilty conscience.

3. A fulness of dignity, prerogative, and qualification. He is a perfect prophet, priest, and king. Join all the qualities involved in name or fame and you shall find that He comprises them all in liberal, lavish fulness.

4. A fulness of every kind of perfection. All that is virtuous, amiable, noble or illustrious.

5. A fulness of the Spirit. The Lord gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him.

6. An abiding fulness. All the saints of every age have drawn their supplies from Him, but He is just as full as ever. He is never less, He can never be more than full.

II. THE FILLING.

1. Surely, then, the saints were empty before. All alike are empty of merit and satisfaction.

2. The filling is universal. All the saints partake of it.

3. There must be a personal reception in every case. Grace cannot be derived or transmitted from one individual to another.

4. It is gratuitous "Grace for grace"; not purchased or earned but received. All the doing to receive it is an undoing: the soul empties itself to be filled.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. We are shown that we ARE ALL UTTERLY DESTITUTE AND EMPTY of spiritual blessings. The abundance in Jesus Christ is intended —

1. To supply our deficiency.

2. To relieve our poverty.

3. To satisfy our hunger and thirst.

II. We are warned THAT AS SOON AS WE HAVE DEPARTED FROM CHRIST IT IS VAIN TO SEEK FOR HAPPINESS, because God hath determined that whatever is God's shall reside in Him alone. Accordingly we shall find angels and men to be dry, heaven to be empty, the earth to be unproductive, and, in short, all things to be of no value, if we wish to be partakers of the gifts of God in any other way than through Christ.

III. We are assured that WE HAVE NO REASON TO FEAR THE WANT OF ANYTHING, provided that we draw from the fulness of Christ, which is in every respect so complete as to be inexhaustable.

(J. Calvin.)

There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in His blood, for "the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin"; of justifying righteousness in His life, for "there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus"; of Divine prevalence in His plea, for "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him; seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them"; of victory in His death, for through death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; of efficacy in His resurrection from the dead, for by it "We are begotten again to a lively hope"; of triumph in His ascension, for "when He ascended up on high He led captivity captive, and received gifts for men"; of blessings unspeakable, unknown; grace to pardon, regenerate, sanctify, preserve, and perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness by day and by night; of comfort in affliction, of guidance in prosperity, of every Divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less to explore.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. AN APPEAL TO OUR GRATITUDE. Glory be unto Christ for His fulness, for of it have all the saints received — Old Testament saints and New, martyrs, reformers, saints on earth, saints in glory, etc., etc. And they all received all that they had.

II. A DISCRIMINATION OF CHARACTER. Thus may we know the people of God, for of His fulness all have received.

1. There are some who receive their religion from their fathers and mothers; but religion is not to be inherited; it is a personal matter.

2. There are those who have got their religion from good works. They do not belong to John's company.

3. Others get their religion partly from self and partly from Christ; but to John's company Christ is all in all. The true Christian gets all from Christ. Even Paul was the chief of sinners, less than the least of all saints, and confessed that he was nothing.

III. A SENTENCE OF ADMONITION TO BELIEVERS. Should they not be —

1. Most humble. Pride, and indebtedness to Christ for all, is a contradiction.

2. Most grateful. When our friends love us we love them in return. So Christ deserves that we should spend the spirit for Him.

IV. A WORD OF SWEET ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE SINNER. You need a new heart, repentance, a sense of sinfulness, pardon. He can give you all, no matter how guilty you are.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THERE IS IN CHRIST A FULNESS, the greatest abundance of blessings of every description. It is such a fulness as is in God, for John tells us that Christ is —

1. The Creator and Preserver of all things.

2. The Author of human redemption.

3. The fountain of life and light.

4. The Author and Dispenser of salvation.

II. CHRISTIANS HAVE RECEIVED OF THIS FULNESS —

1. Many blessings, such as spiritual illumination, faith, pardon, acceptance, the aids of the Spirit, sanctification, hope, and the happiness begun in this world, and perfected in the world to come.

2. These many blessings in great abundance, "and in everything have been enriched by Him."

III. "ALL HAVE RECEIVED."

1. All men if they were willing; and what is there to hinder all men from receiving them? Even now, and at all times, may not all receive them? All may receive to the utmost extent of their desires.

2. All men, of every class and condition; for different men, according to the variety of their situation and circumstances, stand in need of different blessings; and all may have those blessings which their necessities require.

3. All men, in every age, and in every part of the world.

4. There is a "fulness" of blessings in Christ sufficient for the present and eternal salvation of the whole human race.

5. In Christ there is —(1) An open fountain, to which all have access, from which all may draw, the righteous and the wicked, the joyful and the sorrowful, the living and the dying.(2) A copious fountain, from which all may draw in abundance.(3) An inexhaustible fountain which never can be drained, however great be the number of those who draw from it.

4. A perpetual fountain, flowing to all eternity, from which all who are willing may continually draw.

(C. C. Tittman, D. D.)

(cf. Colossians 1:19): —

I. THERE IS A GLORIOUS FULNESS IN JESUS. Why, then, are we so weak, unfurnished, and unhappy? There is that in Jesus which —

1. Can enable us to rise to the highest degree of grace.(1) If sin is to be overcome the conquering power dwells in Him in its fulness.(2) If virtue is to be attained, sanctifying energy resides in Him to perfection.(3) Without Him we can do nothing, but we can do all things through Him. There are many barely Christians who have scarcely enough grace to float them into heaven, their keel grating all the way; and yet their privilege is to reach the deep waterer and have so much grace that they may sail like a gallant bark on the broad ocean, with a glorious cargo and all colours flying, so that there may be administered an abundant entrance.

2. Sufficient for the conquest of the world.(1) All the might for the conquest of heathenism.(2) All the strength for victory over vice and infidelity at home.(3) Every weapon required for the fight, Fulness for teaching, convincing, converting, sanctifying.

II. THE FULNESS IS IN JESUS NOW.

1. The glory of the past depresses many Christians. Scarcely any Church realizes that it can do what its forefathers did. A people are in an evil ease when all their heroism is historical. But the fulness upon which Paul, Luther, Whitefield drew is unexhausted.

2. The mass of professors have their eyes on the future. Yet, if the texts are true, all that is to be done can be done now. Want of faith in Christ's fulness makes them dote on the Millennium.

3. Our Churches believe that there is fulness in Christ, and that sometimes they ought to enjoy it. But it is not the Lord's purpose that a fulness should reside in Jesus during revivals. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and that being the case, the highest state of revival should be the normal condition of the Church.

III. THE POSITION OF THE FULNESS IS RICHLY ENCOURAGING TO US IN THE MATTER OF OBTAINING IT. In Christ:

1. Where we can receive it now.

2. In Him who loves to give it.

3. With Him who is Himself ours. If God, had put it in an angel we should not feel greatly drawn to Him; but He has placed it where we love to have it, where we feel at home, where we are glad to go often, where we would abide.

IV. FROM THIS FULNESS MANY OF US HAVE RECEIVED.

1. This should encourage us to further exercises of faith,

2. What restrains us from receiving.(1) I cannot be a Christian of the highest type. Why not? If you have received life you can receive it more abundantly.(2) I cannot hope to be as useful as some. Why not? According to your faith it shall be done unto you. What you have received is a pledge of what you may receive.

V. THE RECEIPTS WE HAVE ALREADY HAD ARE NOT TRIFLES. "He that spared not His own Son," etc. He has given to all such grace as they have capacity to receive. SO on to perfection.

1. Believe in great thing';.

2. Expect great things.

3. Attempt great things.

4. Don't talk about this but set about it.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. The ONE GLORIOUS PERSON concerning whom this verse is written.

1. The Word or speech and revelation of God. "Wouldst thou have me see thee," said Socrates "then speak." Wouldst thou see God? Listen to Christ.

2. Lest Christ should be regarded as a mere utterance, John is careful to show that He is a Divine Person.

3. Christ was also man.

4. Lest others should come into comparison with Him they are all barred out. Angels, John, Moses.

II. The TWO PRECIOUS DOCTRINES.

1. That all grace is treasured up in Christ Jesus. His is an immeasurable fulness of grace and truth.

(1)Of grace — pardoning, justifying, and sanctifying. Of this He is always full.

(2)Of truth.

2. All the saints have received all of grace out of the fulness of Christ.

(1)All of them.

(2)Very abundantly.

III. THREE EXPERIENCES.

1. Our own emptiness.

2. A personal reception of Christ Jesus.

3. The discovery that all we receive comes to us by grace.

IV. FOUR DUTIES. If we have received Christ then —

1. Let us praise Him.

2. Let us repair to Him again.

3. Try and obtain more.

4. Encourage others to receive Him.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE EXPOSITION.

1. Some take the phrase to have reference to the Law and the Gospel; but St. John is speaking of what takes place after Christ comes and the Law is abandoned.

2. Others to faith in Old Testament saints and light in New Testament saints. That does not hold, because both had faith and light.

3. Others, grace in the believer resembling grace in the Saviour; but that would only give us the moral qualities of Christ, and leave us destitute of those evangelical blessings which He came especially to bestow.

4. The real sense is that of exchange; "for" — instead of a new grace coming in the place of the old, and, when that is done with, another fresh from the fulness, and so on until grace becomes glory.

II. THE ILLUSTRATION:

1. Grace in the believer dies, wastes away, as all living things do, and the faster they live, the faster they die. Granite rocks might last for ever, their life and motion are so slow; but the most exquisite flowers stand in their prime rich-blossomed state only for a short time. "You must come to-day," we say, "or you will not see the best of it." So with that most living thing called grace. Indestructible in its fountain and principle, it yet comes and goes, flowing in, flowing out, blossoming, fading. In the human soul, if there were not replenishment, grace for grace, it would soon be empty and dead.

2. This does not mean simply a steady continuance of the same class of gracious ministration. You stand by a river and watch the flow, the drops of water coming and going to the ocean. But then other drops succeed them, and others them, so evenly and incessantly that we hardly realize that the waters are passing away. So with the supply of grace. Suppose the colour of the river should change with the day, now black from muddy hills, now yellow as the Tiber, now blue as the Rhone, now crystal as the Tweed, it would be a singular phenomenon; but grace for grace means a change like that. There is an element of sameness in all graces, just as water is water, but in many respects one kind of grace is not like another.

3. There is no invariable order, but in general —(1) The grace of forgiveness is the first bestowed. This may come after much anxiety, or quite gently; but, come as it will, peace is a special grace.(2) But the believer dots not rest long in his peace. Next comes a totally different kind of grace — active strength and the spirit of boldness. Not that he is deprived of his peace, but that becomes secondary. This is very necessary, as uniform tranquillity would be injurious. To root the tree firmly rough winds are necessary.(3) The grace of patience for the grace of active strength. Working time comes to an end, or work goes on, patience comes to prevent discouragement.(4) The grace of victory for the grace of preservation in battle. As thy day so shall thy strength be. Not dying grace till death.

III. THE APPLICATION:

1. Do not try to live in or by the past. Live in it by a grateful memory that will help you; but not so as to get a present living nourishment out of states, and frames, and feelings that are dead and gone. You would not get on in June seeking the withered leaves of last autumn. Let them sink into the soil. Trust nature to get all the good that is in them, and send that good up again.

2. We ought to be afraid of stagnation, but never of new experiences or enterprises.

3. Christ offers grace for — not grace, you have none, brother sinner; you would never take it — but for sin and its condemnation.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

I. GRACE BY DEGREES; grace upon grace; a little grace to begin with, but more grace afterwards. "He giveth more grace," grace following in grace, and further in superabounding grace, when grace turns into glory.

II. GRACE TO PREPARE FOR FURTHER GRACE — the grace of a broken heart — to make room for repentance; the grace of hatred of sin to make way for the grace of holy and careful walking; the grace of careful walking to make room for the grace of close communion with Christ; the grace of close communion with the Lord Jesus Christ to make room for the grace of full conformity to His image; perhaps the grace of confortuity to His image to make room for the higher grace of brighter views of Himself, and still closer incomings into the very heart of the Lord Jesus. It is grace that helps us on in grace. When a begger asks you for a penny, and you give him one, he does not ask you for a sixpence; or if you give him a shilling, he would not consider that an argument why you should give him a sovereign. But you may deal thus with God. The grace you have expands your heart, and gives you capacity for receiving yet more grace. You send your child to school to learn A B C, the grace of learning his alphabet. But it is preparatory to the spelling book, a preparation for further acquisition of knowledge.

III. GRACE ANSWERABLE TO GRACE. Let God give me grace to be a preacher, and He will give me grace to discharge the office. If you have the grace of resignation you may need the grace of patience. Or grace received by us answerable to the grace that is in Christ. A young heir to a large estate, though not of full age, generally gets an allowance suitable to the position he is to occupy. If he has £100,000 a year in prospect, he would hardly be limited to a penny a week. When I see one child of God always mourning, another always doubting, and yet another always scheming, I see they are living below their privileges. They do not seem to have grace in possession answerable to the grace they have in reversion. We always inculcate the propriety, on the part of all our people, of living within their incomes; but the child of God cannot live beyond his income in a spiritual sense.

IV. GRACE IN ABUNDANCE. Like the waves of the sea, where one comes there is another close behind it.

V. GRACE FROM HIM TO PRODUCE GRACE IN US. The grace of gratitude should be produced in us by the grace of generosity from God.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

As the sea is not diminished by the treasures of rain which it yields, and which are dispensed to the earth to fertilise and refresh it, or as the sun is not wasted, that he has imparted light to all past generations of men; so Christ has not been affected in His fulness, though from Him has proceeded all the good that has ever been bestowed on every creature. That in the beginning He laid the foundations of the earth, and that He then spread forth the heavens like a curtain, has not diminished His strength. That He brought into being all the families of life, in their innumerable and varied forms, has not exhausted His resources.

(A. Beith, D. D.)

We all receive of His fulness grace for grace, as all the stars in heaven are said to light their candles at the sun's flame. For though His Body be withdrawn from us, yet by the lively and virtual contact of His Spirit He is always kindling, cheering, quickening, warming, enlivening, hearts: nay, this Divine life, begun and kindled in any heart, wheresoever it be, is something of God in the flesh, and in a sober and qualified sense, Divinity Incarnate, and all particular Christians, that are possessed of it, so many mystical Christs.

(R. Cudworth.)If any one is to obtain grace, His fulness must do it: our crumbs and morsels, our tiny drops and bits, they verily will not do it. All, whether Jews or Gentiles, if indeed they would obtain grace and be really found before God, are required (and indeed they can do no other) to fill their little flasks from this well — a well which flows and overflows for ever and ever; they must drink their fill from this fountain-head of living water, springing up into eternal life. In short, His fulness is without measure or end; therefore draw manfully and without fear, and drink with pleasure and joy! For here is overflowingly enough, even into eternal Life; in this you will have enough to praise and thank God for to all eternity.

(Luther.)

The philosophic Hamerton tells us the story of a woman who worked in a cotton factory in one of the great manufacturing towns in Lancashire, and who, in an excursion, went for the first time to the coast. When she caught the earliest glimpse of the Irish Sea, the expanse lying out before her eyes, looking like the limitlessness of the ocean in its rush and roll of billows, she exclaimed, as she drew one boundless breath of freshness and glory: "At last, here comes something there is enough of!"

(Dr. C. Robinson.)

Links
John 1:16 NIV
John 1:16 NLT
John 1:16 ESV
John 1:16 NASB
John 1:16 KJV

John 1:16 Bible Apps
John 1:16 Parallel
John 1:16 Biblia Paralela
John 1:16 Chinese Bible
John 1:16 French Bible
John 1:16 German Bible

John 1:16 Commentaries

Bible Hub
John 1:15
Top of Page
Top of Page